Why is a cooperative offering free credits for some and not others?


To the Editor:

Cooperative, (Meriam Webster Dictionary) is “an enterprise or organization owned by and operated for the benefit of those using its services.” Someone please explain to me…

SVEC is the only service provider in this area. It is a cooperative. Why would I/we receive a letter bribing us to participate (listen) in the annual meeting via telephone? “Return your proxy or register to be eligible to win one of 12 bill credits of $250.”

I am not doubting that there are caring, honest, good people running this organization. Why did you have to raise doubts? Do you have a political agenda? Do you have the approval of all members to offer credits for those participating?

I am not attacking. I am just honestly concerned and wanting to understand what is going on. Being on a board is a service to a cause you support. I am just a customer locked into your service.

Paula Dorangrichia ~ Stanley, Va.


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  1. A better question: Why is SVEC increasing our bills by 17 percent just so they can go into the broadband internet business?

    • …because as a customer controlled participatory cooperative they are one of the few interested in and best situated institutions for tackling rural broadband (the private market is only now acknowledging the need because public funds are making it worthwhile for their balance sheet)… If this is something you disagree with, participate in member calls and votes

      • SVEC improperly concealed the costs of becoming an internet company in their rate hike application. SVEC described price increases as their unavoidable costs of delivering electricity as a monopoly.
        It is really designed to make their customers support SVEC’s expansion into the highly competitive world of internet service.
        SVEC is requiring customers who have no alternative for electricity to fund speculation in an unregulated industry. Many people find it hard to afford electricity, much less speculation in risky rapidly evolving internet markets. That is inconsistent with SVEC’s mandate as a sole provider utility.

        • Tom & Preston (left comments regarding my original letter):
          The official answer I received from SVEC was that the raffle of $250.00 credits were an incentive to get a quorum for the voting at the annual meeting. There was no answer or comment as to why credits were issued to all customers in 2020 for the year 2019 (a suplus of funds collected, I believe). I’ve searched for an agenda for the meeting, a who’s who of the candidates, and any information that might make me an informed voter. Now, I read SVEC is giving out $1,000.00 scholorships as well. Times are tough for us all. SVEC’s mission statement states:

          “We Exist to Serve Our Members.”
          We will provide reliable and safe electric service at the lowest possible cost within our service area, consistent with sound management and cooperative principles.
          We will continually evaluate our members’ needs and work to exceed their expectations, pursuing opportunities that will benefit them.

          My expectations are not being met, much less exceeded. I’m already paying Comcast too much for internet access. I call this between a rock and a hard place.

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